Once a year around the end of October, the U.S. will enter flu season, sparking millions of parents and grandparents to pull their children kicking and screaming all the way to the doctor’s office. Although any needle is an unwelcomed one, we tolerate these injections because at our hearts, we just want to be healthy. However, what is often unknown—or worse neglected—is that seniors have an inherently weaker immune system, leading to increased rates of medical complications and death from viruses like the flu—particularly those suffering from lung disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema.
Although many of these deaths are preventable, fortunately, the answer is simple: get vaccinated.
The relationship between vaccines and health cannot be understated, particularly for seniors suffering from respiratory illness, who are inherently at a higher risk of illness. For those who live with a debilitating lung disease, exacerbations or flare-ups can be both physically and mentally exhausting. Exacerbations further lung degeneration, and when coupled with fatigue and a consistent shortness of breath, chronic lung disease is an extraordinarily difficult disease to live with. Throw in the flu and these factors produce a potentially lethal combination.
Although flu shots are known to reduce flu-related hospital admissions by up to 77%, when it comes to combating lung disease, there are few options available that directly address more than disease symptoms. However, as medicine has continued to advance, stem cell therapy and clinics such as the Lung Institute (lunginstitute.com) have come to the forefront as a method of treatment. With a success rate of 83% over three years of operation under the highest safety standards, the Lung Institute has been able to increase the quality of life for over 2,500 patients. Using stem cells as the body’s natural repair mechanism, stem cell therapy serves to promote healing from within, reduce lung inflammation, dilate airways and works to improve quality of life and pulmonary function in those with chronic respiratory illnesses.
Emerging from a time when epidemics wiped out a significant percentage of the population every century, science has taken humanity into a golden era of medicine and personal healthcare. Although neither the flu nor chronic lung disease possess a known cure, through the combination of vaccines and stem cell therapy, it’s possible to dramatically affect the lives—and lifespan—of one of our nation’s most susceptible demographic.
If you or a loved one suffer from a chronic lung disease, the specialists at the Lung Institute may be able to help. You can contact the Lung Institute at (855) 978-5767 or visit lunginstitute.com/SeniorNews to find out if you qualify for these new treatments.
By Cameron Kennerly
For Pittsburgh Senior News